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An increase in the price of chocolate is coming in Europe

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Reason the adaptation of cocoa producers to EU sustainability rules

Ερχεται αύξηση στην τιμ της σοκολατας στην Ευρoπη

Chocolate prices have risen by 14% in the past year and are expected to rise further due to pressures on cocoa production. [REUTERS]

A further rise is predicted in the price of chocolate in Europe, which has already risen significantly in the last year due to production problems. As a representative of the cocoa industry of Ghana, a key supplier to Europe, warned, consumers should prepare for further increases as production will be adjusted to new sustainability rules.

In particular, Ivory Coast and Ghana, which supply about two-thirds of the world's cocoa beans, are in the process of changing their production systems in order to comply with the new EU rules. These rules aim to ensure that products are not produced on deforested land. At the same time, they aim to avoid permanent market problems, such as child labor along the supply chain.

The rules are expected to come into effect by the end of the month, although companies have until the end of 2024 to comply. However, compliance with the new requirements will ultimately be borne by the consumer, as the head of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aido, said. It is noted that the additional cost concerns, among other things, the implementation of tracking systems.

“We want to produce cocoa in a sustainable and responsible way, and that means a certain quality and cost, which the consumer should be prepared to pay,” Aido said in an interview. It is noted that according to data from consumer intelligence database NielsenIQ released a few days ago, chocolate prices have increased by 14% in the past year and are expected to increase further due to pressures on cocoa production.

“The cocoa market showed a noticeable increase in prices. This season is the second consecutive season that the market is in deficit, with cocoa stocks expected to fall to unusually low levels,” S&P Global Commodity Insights analyst Sergey Chetvertakov told CNBC in mid-May.

The warning of an additional burden on chocolate products comes at a time when consumers around the world are already under severe pressure due to high food prices. Cocoa futures in London have surged to their highest level in seven years, particularly on concerns about extreme weather, which could lead to shrinking output. The new EU rules they also concern other products, such as coffee, palm oil and soy. Aido said that Ghana's cocoa crop is compliant with the new regulatory framework and that one will be able to trace the source of the soybeans shipped all the way back to the original field.

“It is to our advantage to improve and let's continue to protect the environment in which we produce cocoa”, he emphasized. “Our system has a national identity and improved transparency in the cocoa sector and allows the supervisory authority to scientifically prove the location of fields and the validity of claims of child labor,” he added.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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